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  • Natalie Garcia
    Natalie Garcia

    Deconstructing Friendship: Letting Go to Move Forward

    It's a difficult realization to come to, but sometimes people outgrow each other. As we grow and evolve, our relationships also change; what may have worked at one point in time might not fit any more. If your girlfriend wanted friendship when you ended the relationship, there may be many feelings stirring up within you as you navigate this period of transition. It's completely normal to experience acute grief, feelings of guilt, and sadness, but it's important to remember that letting go does not mean that those deep connections are gone forever. In fact, the only way for both of you to continue moving forward is to learn to find solace in the new paths each of you will take.

    Finding inner peace after a relationship ends can involve many different practices, but one of the most essential is learning to practice gratitude. Even in the midst of heartache, your situation could also have some silver linings. Sit down and make a list of everything that you appreciate about the relationship, however small. This could be moments spent together laughing, or any lessons you've learned from her. Engaging in such a positive exercise in retrospect can help bring you some clarity as to why the two of you were no longer compatible.

    Fostering self-awareness is another important step in the process. When our relationships change, we often lose sight of who we are because we are so busy trying to figure out who the other person was or who we used to be together. Take the time to reflect on your strengths and weaknesses. Consider your hobbies and passions that exist outside of this particular relationship. You'll soon see that you contain multitudes and your identity extends far beyond who you are in one particular relationship.

    Still, committing to new paths can be a challenge when part of our identities was formed by another individual's presence. We are forced to confront our own feelings of inadequacy and re-define how we fit into the world without someone to lean on. That is why it's important to shift your focus away from the fearmongering associated with being alone and instead embrace the opportunity for immense personal growth that comes with having the means and freedom to explore yourself and the world around you. After all, if you never take the time to get to know yourself even more deeply, it will be difficult for you to ever truly get to know another person.

    It's okay to miss your ex and grapple with the notion of space. But remember, everything shifts and changes, including our relationships. It is only when we dig deep and draw upon the strength within ourselves to hold our ground that we can truly move into a place of peace with what once was and what is to come.

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